Re: Astronomy/Stargazer alert!! Comet/Asteriod view and more!
Dave McCullough (Mccecolsys@AOL.COM)
Tue, 26 Mar 1996 19:04:11 -0500
Folks, this is an exciting time in astronomy. If you can take the time to go
outside and look upward in a relatively clear and light-free area there are
several sights that will reward you in the next few weeks.
Chuck Bramlet told us about Comet Hyakutake which was discovered by an
amateur Japanese astronomer in January (comet and asteroid discovery is an
area in which amateur astronomers play an important role). Naked-eye comets
only occur a few times a century, so if at all possible, you should try to
see this one. Also, stay tuned for Comet Hale-Bopp, which may approach
naked-eye brightness by the end of the year. This one could approach Halley
of 1910 (but, of course, also could be a bust like Kohoutek in 1973).
As Chuck said,
>>Comet Hyakutake is visible in the evenings just below the Big Dipper. It
will be the "fuzzy" bright star below the dipper end, that doesn't show on
the star locater charts. Per my information, it should be visible until the
latter part of April, when it disappears on it's way out of the Solar System,
not to be seen again for a mere 15000 years. Per the local paper, it will be
visible all night on Monday.<<
It has been moving quickly north and for the past week I've been watching it
move about two fist-widths held at arms length per night north from Arcturus.
Didn't know about the asteroid that Chuck mentions, but on April 1 at 0 UT
(March 31 at 19:00 for those in the Eastern Time Zone in the US) Venus will
be higher in the western sky than it will be for another 8 years, and will
reach its maximum brightness of -4.4 on April 2 and 3.
On April 4, along with the full moon will come one of two lunar eclipses of
the year. Western Australia will just see the penumbral eclipse, whereas
Europe and Africa see the entire eclipse. The northeast U.S. will see the
Moon being eclipsed at Moonrise, west of the Rockies the Moon is moving out
of the umbra before coming above the horizon, and in Alaska and Hawaii, the
eclipse will be over before the Moon rises.
There will also be a partial solar eclipe on April 17, but it will be visible
only to those east of New Zealand and west of Easter Island.
Boulder Dam Area Council
Las Vegas, Nevada
Light Pollution Capital of the World
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City